Moussaka Recipe

I love Moussaka. It is so delicious with all of the intense flavors and is good comfort food also, served up in a casserole dish. ¬†Luckily it was not hard at all to make this dish gluten free. You’ll need the following ingredients:

1 lb ground meat or lamb

1 can tomato sauce

2 large eggplants

salt & pepper to taste

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 large onion finely chopped

1/4 cup golden raisins or currants

1 cup red wine

For bechamel sauce:

1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour (or other gluten free flour)

2 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup goat cheese or cream cheese (I used cream cheese since I ran out of goat cheese)

3 egg yolks

lemon zest from one lemon

6 T butter

1 cup romano or parmesan cheese

Season & brown ground meat with the cinnamon, garlic, ginger, pepper, cayenne pepper.
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Drain cooked meat and set aside. Saute onion and minced garlic with golden raisins. Add meat back in to pan and add red wine and tomato sauce. Simmer until sauce cooks down.

Slice eggplant into uniform pieces and brown with salt & pepper and olive oil.

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Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray and start to layer and alternate the eggplant and ground meat mixture (Just like a lasagna).

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Now this looks good to me just the way it is. The less fancy part of me would even be happy putting grated cheddar cheese on top and call it a day. But, I doubt that’s very Greek, so we’ll do the bechamel sauce on top.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the gluten free flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale and smooth, 2 minutes. Still whisking constantly, add the milk and cook until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

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Let the sauce cool for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, goat cheese (or cream cheese), and lemon zest and whisk into the bechamel sauce until smooth. Pour bechamel sauce over ground meat mixture and smooth out with spatula.

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Sprinkle romano or parmesan cheese over the top. I baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and then I turned up the heat to 400 degrees and cooked for 15 more minutes. Watch your casserole since the bechamel seems to brown pretty quickly. Delicious!

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Celiac Disease – A New Lifestyle

It’s been 12 days since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. It is a relief to finally know what is wrong with me and also depressing to know that I have another autoimmune disorder. ¬†I have been gluten-free since the moment the doctor told me the results and within a week I felt so much better. After 12 days, I feel a thousand times better than I have in years. My hope is to alter all of my favorite recipes to suit my new lifestyle and have them look and taste delicious.

This particular disease is pretty overwhelming since I have to change my toothpaste, lotion, make-up, soap, shampoo, etc. just to make sure I am GLUTEN-FREE. This is much more serious than even an allergy and it’s hard to learn and remember all of the things I need to be aware of.

The good news is that the breast rash that I was concerned about is most likely from my body reacting to gluten. No cancer found in my biopsy.

2 days after I started my gluten-free diet I also starting training with my friend, S at an MMA gym. I feel fantastic. This way of eating is sooo much better. I’m not in pain, bloated and looking like I’m 9 months pregnant, and endless other problems. Working out feels good. I haven’t had the strength or energy to work out in such a long time. I’ve lost 7 pounds so far and hopefully it will continue.

The Waiting Game & The Breast Rash

I’ve had of rash on my breast for almost 2 months now. It’s angry and red and sometimes it looks like an orange peel. Not exactly the best way to describe a rash; it makes doctors nervous. A month ago I went in to have it looked at and I was told it is probably an allergic reaction to taking birth control pills. An allergic reaction is not concentrated in one spot. I was told to put hydrocortisone cream on it twice a day and come back if it gets worse or does not go away. So, I went back in to the OB-GYN and she immediately sent me to dermatology. The dermatologist took a biopsy and now I get to wait for 2 weeks to get the results back and in the meantime look up everything I am going to die from on the Internet. The first thing that pops up is Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Holding my breath.